Thanksgiving Shanghai/Hong Kong Disneyland Extravaganza!

chi_disfan

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Hi all!

I just got back from a weeklong trip to Shanghai and Hong Kong where we visited Shanghai Disney for 2 days and Hong Kong Disney for 1 day. It was a whirlwind trip and I'm super exhausted but excited to share some details and tips for future travelers.





About Me:

I'm Edward and I'm continuing my tour to knock off all the international Disney Parks. I'm totally Disney fanatic and former DCP culinary cast member so I'm obsessed with food! Joining my is my partner in crime, Paul, who entertains my Disney-fandom but pretty begrudgingly. Anyone willing to fly around the world to visit a Disney park for 3 days is a keeper! Paul works in the airline industry so we were able to get our flights pretty cheap but we had to fly standby on all our flights so we weren't exactly sure which times (or countries!) we'd have to fly around from.

Travel Details:
We stayed 3 nights in Shanghai at the Disneyland Hotel. We got a great deal on the room at $200 per night -- I was so surprised and happy to see that a night here was cheaper than a moderate in Florida! For our Shanghai portion, we made use of the 144-hour travel visa as Hong Kong was our second destination so we did not need a proper visa. The line for the 144-hour visa upon arrival was a very very very slow moving line and a lot of passengers were upset as many had connecting flights. Be prepared (fill out the blue arrival form) and manage expectations. We left LAX at 9:30 am Sunday and arrived in Shanghai at 3:30 pm Monday.

Arrival:
We took a taxi to the hotel and it was very quick and cheap. The hotel was about 20 minutes away and I think the fare came out to about $18 USD. We checked in and dropped our bags -- we were informed that though we had a king bed requested there were none available so we would spend a night in a double room then they would move our bags to a king room for the final 2 nights.

We spent the evening walking around Disneytown which is about the size of Downtown Disney in CA, perhaps a bit smaller. The clothing shops were not too exciting and we were mostly interested in the food anyway. We discovered that most of the food places only accept a card you pre-load with cash -- no one would take straight cash or a credit card. Also, each transaction deducts a 10 yuan processing fee so it was a bit annoying. We ate at the food hall (dumplings, katsu, noodles) which was very good and very cheap. We returned to the room and went to sleep.

Hotel Thoughts:
The Disneyland Hotel was very nice but small in comparison to the other Flagship hotels around the world. Everyone was very nice and spoke enough English to help us around. I'm Chinese (but born in Texas and speak exactly 0 words of Chinese) and people would always start conversations with me in Chinese and I'd sheepishly reply "only English, sorry!". We ate at the quick service (Ballet Cafe) several times for quick pastries and drinks but the table service was really expensive for what it was ($45 USD breakfast) so we opted out. The rooms were very similar to the Disneyland Hotel in California and had the lovely Tinkerbell light up touch on the headboards which was a nice touch. The indoor Triton pool was really nice and empty and the grounds were very nice with lots of open green spaces.

Day 1:
We booked the hotel online but waited to arrive to buy tickets. When we did, we were given the option to choose an attraction day and time for a bonus fast pass. Roaring Rapids was closed for refurb so we opted for Tron on day 1 and Seven Dwarves on day 2. We were given plastic cards as tickets to sign and our pictures were taken to verify our identity. The park officially opened at 9:00 am but I had seen online that often guests were let in early. The first bus from the hotel left at 7:55 with buses arriving every 5 minutes so we got on around 8:15. We arrived at the Disneytown entrance around 8:30 and they were letting guests in to the park but holding them back right past the ticket entrance. I had read the they required passports for entry (which made me REALLY nervous holding our passports in the park all day) but were were NOT required to show our passports at the gate, just the tickets we had signed and received the day before. Also, I was nervous about the wifi as we did not purchase a VPN but we found that the park wifi was strong enough to support the app. The best way to get on the network is at the hotel and then auto-connecting in the park. If you connect just in the park it asked for a local number to send a wifi code to.

At about 8:40 they left everyone run free. There really weren't that many people in our hotel-only line, probably like 35 people. Most people banked left to Tron but we headed all the way over to the other side of the park for Soarin'. I hadn't planned on riding since it was the same as EPCOT but since we already had FPs for everything else, we figured why not. We crossed over (it was probably a good 15 minute walk) and stopped for a few pics. The general public was not let in yet so the park was totally empty. We were the 3rd people in line for Soarin and while the ride is exactly the same (except the ending is in Shanghai), there was also a different warning spiel. The ride takes place in a Mayan (technically "Arbori") temple so there's a weird mystic woman who can transform into animals that told us to keep our seatbelts on -- all in Chinese so it was fun trying to figure out what she was saying.



So when we got off the ride, it was about 9:05 and I was fully expecting the park to be swarmed with people -- well, it wasn't. Like at all. Spoiler for the rest of the day, it never got crowded. Maybe because it was a Tuesday, I'm not sure, but the park was extremely empty. We headed over to Pirates and walked on, no wait. It was amazing! It was like old school dark ride + newest tech. It was fantastic! After that we walked over to Peter Pan which we had a FP for (booked through the app). On the way, we saw that Seven Dwarves had a 5 minute wait so we decided to do it. Indeed, it was a 5 minute wait -- exactly the same as the FL version except the end (where the witch is outside the door) is removed and it's just a small dwarf hut instead.

We used our FP for Peter Pan (although standby was only 5 minutes). It was great as well. It updated the ride to include some new scenes and the ride mechanic was really smooth. I was surprised that the vehicle actually went quite fast and was even sort of thrilling.

We made our way over to Tron for our FP but, notice a trend?, the wait was only 5 minutes. And this was at about 10:00. We used the FP anyway and got on. The ride was amazing! It has a REALLY fast launch and then the inside "show" part of the ride was amazing as well. It takes a bit to get comfortable -- the first ride I was lying on my stomach and it didn't feel great -- but so much fun. We had run into some sizing issues in Japan so I was worried about Paul as he's 6'3 and on the larger side but he fit all rides (Shanghai and HK) no problem.

At this point we slowed down a bit but the park was still empty. Waits were mostly still 5-10 minutes but we decided to take a break and ate at Remy's (yummy insta-ready donut!).

We had accomplished all the headliners and it wasn't even noon yet. We decided just to walk around the park and take in the sights. I had heard about a passport you can buy and get stamped around the park. I'd highly recommend this as it gave us some purpose to our wandering. Especially since the park was so empty we found ourselves just walking around a lot.

We walked back through Toy Story Land but none of the rides seemed appealing -- the same off-the-shelf rides as Paris and HK. We did, however, stop for our first snacks, roasted corn with "weird stuff" on top (bacon, corn, spicy mayo) and Mickey Ice cream bar that was vanilla with chocolate ears.



We walked back through Fantasyland and rode Pooh's Honey Hunt (aka re-themed Tea Cups) which I was NOT thrilled about (I can't do spinning rides) but the theming was super cute. After that, we rode Pooh with a FP. This is the same Pooh as FL (not the amazing Japan version) but it filled some time. I quickly realized that we'd have a lot of time to do things one, twice or more and to do things that I had thought we'd skip because they were the same as other parks, hence us riding Pooh. Another thing we noticed was that about 50% of the smaller restaurants/kiosks were closed for the whole day. Many of the other larger restaurants didn't open until 11 or 12 and closed at 3.

We went to the Marvel building and met Black Widow. There's also a "Become Iron Man" experience that was just kind of a video game so we skipped it. I think at this point, we rode Tron again -- 5 minute wait. We stopped for another snack at Mickey and Pals on Mickey Ave. Seeing dumplings at a Disney quickserve was so neat!



We headed over to the Pirates stunt show, Captain Jack: Eye of the Storm. I had read mixed reviews but since we had time I wanted to check it out. This show was very language-dependent. The pre-show, which is actually half of the show, was a slap-sticky vaudeville act with a bunch of pirates and I had no clue what was happening. Once we got in the show building, there was a little more action but still very language dependent. The final set piece had Jack fighting a captain in floating hurricane that was neat but ultimately wished I had skipped the show.

By this time, we had a bit of time before the parade which I definitely wanted to see so we rode Pirates again (no wait). I tell ya, the ride just got better and better! The parade was set to start in about 40 minutes so we picked a spot and just sat and rested for it to begin. The weather was great, I had a light jacket and during the midday it was almost too warm but as the sun started to go down it was a little chilly. The parade was great -- Mickey's Magical? Express -- it was train themed and really cute. I liked the emphasis on Mulan -- she had her own float and dancers and everything.

The sun started setting on day 1, but the night was just beginning! Stay tuned for part 2!
 

Mousequake

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Excellent report! Can't wait to read the rest. You did virtually the same trip we did exactly one year ago, except we spent three days at Shanghai DL and two days at Hong Kong DL. It was such an amazing experience.
 

chi_disfan

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Night 1 -- Continued

As the evening started to fall, we headed for Toy Story Land as those were the only batch of rides we hadn't done yet. I was excited to ride Woody's Roundup as it was the same as the Swirling Saucers and I hadn't been on that yet or the CA version. It was actually one of my favorites! I generally don't do well with spinning rides but this didn't "spin" so much as "whip". After that we went on the Slinky Spin which to me felt kind of lazy since it's just an off-the-shelf carnival ride. We waited 5 minutes for Woody and 10 for Slinky so I didn't feel too bad about it. I had noticed some interesting offerings at the Toy Story Cafe (a sweet potato with mushroom and chicken ragout) but they had closed for the evening so I made note to try back tomorrow. It had gotten pretty dark so we headed over to Tron for our evening ride (no wait!). Tron at night was fantastic! It was also a bit chilly so being blasted out of the launch into the chilly night was really fun. We also did a run on Space Rangers and this was the best version we'd ridden -- the laser guns made it easy to aim and shoot.

I had set my sights on Wandering Moon and we trekked over only to find that the restaurant portion was closed down and only the BBQ part was open. The food at the BBQ part looked like it had been sitting around for quite a while and so we passed. So many of the restaurants closed early or never opened at all which was a bummer. We were getting pretty hangry so we ducked into the first thing we could find which was Barbossa's Bounty. I had the ribs and paul had the chicken. Something else to note is that napkins seemed to be pretty rare and aren't given unless asked for. Also, it seemed common to be given plastic gloves when ordering food eaten by hand (ribs and chicken). The food at Barbossa's was a bit expensive ($31 USD total) but wasn't too bad. It was set up a bit like Blue Bayou in CA where part of the dining area is in the Pirates ride.




We had about 2 hours before the night show -- Ignite the Dream, so we wandered around and took some photos and completed a few of the stamps from the passport. We decided to ride Woody's Roundup again and walked all the way back to the front to shop on Mickey Ave. We also stopped for a delicious Strawberry soft serve sundae at Il Paperino. I was starting to lose steam but we hunkered down for a good spot by the Dumbo rides. One thing I noticed was there was a lot of smoking around the park. There were a few designated smoking spots but people smoked everywhere at all times.



Finally Ignite the Dream started and it was a great show. Very similar to Happily Every After in that it is very projection heavy but I feel like the projections used in HEA were a lot smarter and creative with how it uses the castle as the screen. In ItD, it felt like the castle was just a flat movie screen with a movie projected on it. Also, ItD was very low on pyrotechnics although there were some really great flame-canon moments. I noticed a few of the scenes were straight from HEA (the pirates in particular) but it was a pretty good show.

When it was over, the park emptied out really quickly. Unlike in FL, people mostly drove or took the train so the transport options to the hotels were really empty -- we took the ferry each night and there were many 6 other people with us each time. I HIGHLY recommend the Disneyland Hotel for convenience. We headed out to the room and fell asleep really quickly.
 
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  • OldSchoolReasons

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2014
    Ahh I am living for this report! Thank you for the minute detail about things like the app as I worry about stuff like that non-stop. It looks so fun and I really hope I have your wait times.
     

    chi_disfan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2016
    Day 2:
    We decided for day 2 to be a little more leisurely with our pace -- we didn't wake up early and got to the park right around opening. It was a very dreary and rainy day and the crowds were already pretty thin. I had a few things on my "Must do" list for the day -- namely get the weird Sweet potato with chicken and mushroom sauce at Toy Box Cafe and complete the magical passport and get my free gift. We also wanted to ride a few of the headliners one more time and I wanted to meet characters, specifically Chinese outfit Mickey.

    We raced over to the Mickey Meet-and-Greet tent which is right in front of the Disneytown Entrance. The tent was really neat with lots of mickey cartoons along the walls. We were the only ones in line and were let in quickly. I was SUPER bummed to find that Mickey was wearing his plain old normal outfit. I'm not exactly sure why, I know that the Mickey 90th celebration had ended a day earlier so perhaps that was why but we snapped a pic with him anyway.



    After that we rode Tron again (again no wait!). Although we said we might ride it again this ended up being the last go-round. A few tips for riding -- it's kind of a weird situation where you lay on your stomach. I found that if you lay a little more on your chest it's more comfortable. Most people lay down rather than propping themselves up on their hands. I think this way is more comfortable but if you prop your up on your hands you get a better view on the ride. Also, for anyone concerned with laying down they have an alternative car where you can sit like a traditional rollercoaster that may be more comfortable or if you have mobility issues.

    After Tron, we walked to Fantasyland and met Belle right next to the Pinnocchio kitchen. She was in her blue dress and we talked all about good books for a rainy day. I noticed that all the face characters spoke English and they did a lot of what they do in the US -- they sort of have a monologue with themselves in character. I think they do this because many of the visitors don't speak English. Being a character-meet aficionado, I struck up a conversation right away, asked Belle about the Beast, what book she read recently, how Chip was doing etc. I found that the characters really lit up and were super happy to talk to me -- maybe because so many of the visitors don't speak English. Anyway, the meet with Belle was delightful and after that we crossed the street to Voyage to the Crystal Grotto.



    The Voyage to the Crystal Grotto was the longest line we waited in during the whole trip. It ended up being about 20 minutes. The ride was very much like the storybook boats in Disneyland. It was just a mild boat ride through some movie scenes with fountains. I noticed that a lot of the paint from the scenes was already chipping even after just a year of being open. After that ride, they have a "Royal Court" meet and greet with different princesses and at this time it was Cinderella. The wait was only 10 minutes so I decided to do it. Again, I struck up a conversation with her immediately and she lit up and talked to me for a long time. I asked her about her glass slippers and said they were getting polished in the castle but had some alternatives. So sweet!



    We also did the Snow White "interactive" castle walk through. I'm not exactly sure what was supposed to happen or what we were supposed to do. It's billed as "The Most Interactive" of all the castles in a Disney park but it was all in Chinese so we just kind of walked from scene to scene. I foolishly tried to rub or manipulate the scenery in front of the video screens to get something to happen but nothing did and I think I looked like an idiot.

    We wandered over to Toy Story Land and on the way noticed that Belle had been replaced with Flynn and Rapunzel. I REALLY wanted to meet them but the line was super long so we just walked by. Upon entering Toy Story Land, we walked right on to Woody's Roundup and then to the Toy Box Cafe for my precious sweet potato. Wouldn't you know it, the Toy Box Cafe was closed for the day. Of course! Instead we walked to the Stargazer Grill and got a regular burger and a pork burger with kimchi. The regular burger was very Cosmic Rays (pretty dry and blah) but the pork burger was pretty good. After that we headed over to Adventure Isle to complete my passport.

    Another attraction I was eager to try was the Ropes Course. It was so unique that I had to do it. I was a little concerned they'd close the ride as it was pretty much full-on raining but it was in operation so I got in line. Something to note is that there is a 300 lb limit for participants. I was extremely nervous because it's a legit ropes course, albeit one you're harnessed into so you can't fall, but I feel like I was getting a lot of warning in Chinese that I wasn't understanding. Again, since I'm of Chinese descent, people will just talk to me in Chinese assuming I speak the language and even when I try and say "Only English" they just kind of push me along. I LOVED the ropes course but it was really scary! You have to traverse increasingly difficult passages (ropes, boards, etc.) and it was even scarier in the slick rain. The best/(worst?) part was you come to this waterfall and there's a thin passage along the wall. It totally feels like you're Indiana Jones or the Rock in an action movie. SO SCARED but so fun!

    After the ropes course we checked out the character meet in the area which was a random character -- today it was Nick Wild! I was excited as you can't meet him in American parks and the line was really short.



    We finished the passport and rode pirates one more time. We made the walk to the front of the park to redeem our passport. By this time it was about 1 pm and we were honestly kind of done with the day. For the two days, for two adults, the park tickets came out to about $200 USD, so $50 per person per day. Because it was so cheap (compared to the US parks) we didn't feel too bad cutting the day a bit short. We also had plans to go down into downtown Shanghai to get some dumplings and just walk around a bit. So we walked to the confectionary to get our final stamp and our prize. Also to note, that the confectionary in Shanghai is much like the ones in the US though with a heavy Duffy theme. When we went to Tokyo, we were saddened to find that they didn't have a sweet store that sold things like candy apples, rice krispie treats and cupcakes but mostly just packaged cookies and crackers. The Chinese confectionaries had apples and cakes and such so we also picked up a caramel apple for the road.

    We completed our passport (the prize was a really weird one, a kids spiderman bracelet) and said goodbye to Shanghai Disneyland park.

    Up next -- traveling into Shanghai!
     

    chi_disfan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2016
    Whew -- and now back to our regularly scheduled trip report. This is my first ever trip report and I realize now how much work it can be!

    So when we last left off, we departed Shanghai Disneyland Park for Shanghai proper. At this point, it was only about 1 pm and drizzly and we though if we were to make it back in time, we could still head back into the park (spoiler, it doesn't happen). We're both very big fans of soup dumplings and seeing as how Shanghai is where some of the best are we decided to make it our mission to find some. We had done a fair bit of research to find somewhere and decided on Din Tai Fung -- even though there are a few outposts in the US, the locations seemed most convenient and was located in a large mall which was also appealing to me as I wanted to do some non-Disney Shopping.

    Now a word about the Great Firewall of China. It's true that many sites are blocked including Facebook, Instagram and Google (and all google-related sites like Gmail). One way around it was using a different search engine like Bing through a non-google browser. I found that searching through Bing on Apple safari on the Disney WiFi network was a decent enough workaround for us to find a restaurant and how to get there.

    The Disney train station is right outside the gates of the park, down by the boat to the Shanghai Disneyland hotel. The kiosks to buy tickets are pretty standard for a large city so if you've navigated a public transportation system in a larger city you should be ok. There were options for English so that was helpful as long as you know where you're going (which stop etc.) -- also make sure you have smaller bills to buy your fare with. We did get a little stuck figuring things out (the small bills situation) and there was a police officer and a ticket attendant but neither spoke English and kind of gave up trying to help us. After a little legwork we got our tickets and headed into the city.



    The trip into the city took us about 30 minutes and we had to make 2 transfers and at around 2 pm the crowds were fairly light and the transit was easy. Fast forward to later around rush hour and it's a different story. We ended up at Super Brand Mall which is very close to the Shanghai Pearl building. The mall is HUGE. Several floors upon floors of stores but not anything I was really into. It was a lot of upscale fashion/women's fashion whereas I was looking for trinkets and souvenirs. After wandering around for a while and considering seeing a movie on the top floor, we found the restaurant we were looking for but weren't quite hungry yet. We happened upon a spa and a foot massage sounded PERFECT and it came out to $24 USD per person for a 90 minute foot massage -- yes please!
    The massage was great but again, everyone spoke little English and seemed to be frustrated that we didn't speak any Chinese or know what they were asking of us. Also, Paul is a bigger/taller guy and they provided some spa pants to wear and he definitely wasn't going to fit in them so he just had to deal with rolling up his jeans -- although we didn't have any size issues in the park, things in the city were generally a lot smaller (lower doorways etc.) so keep that in mind if you're on the taller/larger size.



    After the massage we were ready for our dumplings. Our meal at Din Tai Fung was pretty good. It ended up being our most expensive meal at around $120 total -- still not bad. If you've never had soup dumpling definitely seek them out it's like a little purse of pure delight filled with meat and juice that you drink up. Although our meal was good, it was definitely on the pricey side and TBH the ones I normally get in NY are just as good and a lot cheaper. The black truffle and pork dumplings, though, were unique and definitely worth a taste.



    It was starting to get late and we decided to navigate back to the hotel. It was around 6 pm and we were toying with either taking a cab or the train. The cab would have been rather expensive and we had such an easy time on the train we decided to do that. While it wasn't necessarily a mistake, I hand't really considered how extremely crowded it would be. I've definitely spent my fair share on crowded public transportation but, man, we were all really packed in there. I'm glad paul is so tall because even though I was getting squished in and mixed up with the masses, I could always see his head poking over everyone so we wouldn't get too lost.

    We arrived back at the Disneyland Resort around 7:45 -- in my head I wanted to run into the park and catch the fireworks again and maybe get a candy apple but unfortunately cooler minds prevailed and we simply headed back to the hotel. We stopped at the little corner store just off the boat dock for some snacks (we stopped here pretty much every night for water, soda or snacks) and headed to the room.

    Our flight the next morning to HK was at 10 so we needed to be down and ready in the lobby by about 8 so for our final night, we just packed up and got ready to say goodbye to Shanghai.

    Next up -- traveling to Hong Kong and a whirlwind day at the park!
     

    Disney127

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 17, 2009
    Love the trip report so far! We were in SHDL for 2 days and HKDL for 2 days this past summer before we headed to Toyko DL and DisneySea. Your report brought back lots of good memories, so happy that we got to experience the Asia Disney parks. We too are Chinese and can not speak the language and had locals talking to us like we did. We were pleasantly suprised about SHDL, we didn't think that we would like it but we loved it! It was a huge place but we got everything done that we wanted to. HKDL was much smaller and reminded us of Disneyland in California which is our 'home' park (we are Canadians but consider Disneyland our home park). LOL
     
  • chi_disfan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2016
    Love the trip report so far! We were in SHDL for 2 days and HKDL for 2 days this past summer before we headed to Toyko DL and DisneySea. Your report brought back lots of good memories, so happy that we got to experience the Asia Disney parks. We too are Chinese and can not speak the language and had locals talking to us like we did. We were pleasantly suprised about SHDL, we didn't think that we would like it but we loved it! It was a huge place but we got everything done that we wanted to. HKDL was much smaller and reminded us of Disneyland in California which is our 'home' park (we are Canadians but consider Disneyland our home park). LOL
    I was surprised we got everything done (and more!) in Shanghai Disney. There were so many reports and videos of mobs of people I was bracing for the worst. I did also like the smaller, intimate nature of HKDL (very much like California) although after visiting all but Paris, I think HKDL is my least favorite -- I think because while we were there the castle was under construction and it was so crowded. I'd be eager to come back when everything is done and give it another chance!
     

    SWofDisorder

    Expatriate Fun
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2014
    Thanks for the trip report. Is the park worth 2 days? Or is it because walking around takes so much of the time?
     

    chi_disfan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2016
    Thanks for the trip report. Is the park worth 2 days? Or is it because walking around takes so much of the time?
    I think it depends what time of year (and even week) you go. We found that 2 days was more than enough (perhaps too much?) but if it's even moderately crowded you will definitely like having 2 days to do everything.
     
  • JessicaRabbit13

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2018
    Really enjoyed reading about your experience of Shanghai Disney :) The castle looks incredible! Do you think its worth staying at the Disneyland Hotel?

    We recently did Hong Kong Disney on a stopover and enjoyed the cultural differences but that they still spoke good english. Did you find they spoke good English in Shanghai?
     

    chi_disfan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2016
    Really enjoyed reading about your experience of Shanghai Disney :) The castle looks incredible! Do you think its worth staying at the Disneyland Hotel?

    We recently did Hong Kong Disney on a stopover and enjoyed the cultural differences but that they still spoke good english. Did you find they spoke good English in Shanghai?
    We got an amazing deal on the Disneyland Hotel ($200 per night) which is cheaper than a moderate at Disney World so I'd definitely recommend it. Even if it were a little more expensive, I'd recommend the DH in Shanghai as it's so close and convenient and the park is located a bit away from other hotels (in contrast to HK and Tokyo where there are lots of options nearby).

    I felt like the English in Shanghai was enough to get around but it was definitely less English than in HK. I only remember a few instances where the language was a "problem" -- one was that all the shows were in Chinese which makes some of the story-heavy ones a hard pass. Also, all of the intro videos to rides are in Chinese with only the most important parts in English.

    For the most part, the cast members responded enough to pointing and gestures to assist where needed but to be honest, we didn't really have the need to talk to a lot of people.
     

    chi_disfan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2016
    Oh my gosh you guys -- I can't believe it's already the new year! My trip report has, unfortunately, taken a back seat to my busy work schedule but we're back -- this time in Hong Kong! Sorry this post is a little light on pictures -- I didn't take much of our travel day/hotel.

    When we last left, we had a rather leisurely checkout from Shanghai Disney and headed over to the airport. We flew out on China Eastern in First Class for only $240. It was definitely worth it as we had access to the lounge for snacks and drinks beforehand. That being said, the China Eastern lounge was the busiest, most hectic lounge I had ever been in.

    The flight was pretty smooth and we landed in Hong Kong. I was SO HAPPY to land in the Hong Kong airport because FINALLY I could access my Gmail and facebook accounts. I know, I know, I'm tethered to my digital devices and social networks but, man, I felt so isolated. We stayed offsite at the Novotel City Gate hotel so we had to take the shuttle. The Hong Kong airport was pretty bustly and I could already tell that there was definitely more of an international and diverse crowd. There were lots of British people and people speaking English which just felt different from Shanghai.

    After waiting a few minutes, we got our shuttle to the hotel which was pretty close to the airport and located on top of a mall. The hotel room was pretty cheap on an airline rate but the room was very European feeling (a bit small and cramped) but we were literally spending 36 hours in HK so it would do.

    The first night in HK was free and unplanned for us and as luck would have it, one of Paul's coworkers was flying through se we decided to meet up and hit the city as it was the only opportunity we'd have to visit HK proper. We decided to take a cab over to the night market and look for something to eat. The hotel's convenience to HK Disney and the airport unfortunately made it quite a distance from the night market and it cost us about $40 USD in the cab to get into the city. Once we got to the market, though, it was fun wandering around the stall looking at the different trinkets and offerings though ultimately I didn't buy anything. One of the downsides to flying standby was that we couldn't bring full-size luggage so my little carryon was starting to reach capacity.

    We wandered into a restaurant for dinner and had some pretty good authentic Chinese food and headed back to the hotel to head to bed.

    Unfortunately, the night was a little rough as I'm a VERY light sleeper and the bed was a bit stiff and didn't do well on our bodies. HK Disney opens pretty late (10 am) and we were up at 6 with not much to do. Knowing that we'd have to head to the airport as soon as we got back to the hotel, we just packed up and killed time before it was time to get the cab. The bed, though, had done a number on Paul's back and although it was minor enough to get through the day, as time went on it got worse and worse and the flight back to the US later was even worse and he's still dealing with the repercussions of the bed even 3 months later.

    Finally it was a decent time to take a cab to Disney. Seeing as how we were staying on a mall, there was always a line of cabs ready. Here, though, we encountered our first (and only) English-related issue as the driver had no idea where we wanted to go. We honestly though "Disney" and "Mickey Mouse" transcended all languages but I guess not. The driver had to get out and talk to other drivers to figure out where we wanted to go (I thought he was going to make us take a different cab!) and even on the drive over I wasn't 100% sure he knew where to take us -- but we made it! It was about 20 minutes from the hotel so not too bad. By the time we arrived around 9:45 it was pretty crowded. It was a Friday so I wasn't sure about the crowd level but I got nervous because there were so many people -- way more people than we had seen in Shanghai.

    For all you airline people, you can get tickets for a 10% discount so Paul went off to handle that -- you have to physically pick the discounted tickets the day-of (another line!). Finally -- we were in!

    Next post -- HKDISNEY!
     

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